Much has happened in the past 12 months, both locally, nationally and globally, both good and not-so-good. But here is just a brief glance at the last 12 months in the life of Otterhampton Village Hall.

After the completion of Phase 1 of the refurbishment Phase 2 started in January 2022. Works included the installation of the acoustic clouds, in the main hall, lounge and skittles room, new stage lighting and the long-awaited disabled access ramp.

As the country and a lot of the world celebrated the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June, Combwich was not to be left out and celebrated with a Fun Day for the parish.

Our very own ‘Queen’ Carolyn Harris opened the proceedings with a tour around Combwich to view all the ‘Best Dressed Houses’. This was followed by various competitions, games, stalls and a right royal picnic.

There was a splendid turnout for the celebrations and there are many photos in the gallery as a reminder of the fun had by all.

Grand Opening. After what seemed an eternity on the 6th August the Village Hall was officially re-opened. The job of performing the opening ceremony fell to Roger Musgrove, who I am sure you all know as our recently retired long serving postman. He had such a close association with the parish over the years, keeping an eye out for those that needed it and not to mention keeping on the right side of most of the village dogs with treats.  The event was witnessed by various dignitaries and stakeholders and toasted with prosecco and nibbles.

Also in August, Paella Sunday returned after it’s ‘covid’ break. With a choice of freshly made chicken, prawn or veggie paellas served on the green opposite the village hall, everyone had a filling afternoon before heading off for a siesta.

At the annual AGM in October, it was with some sadness we had to say au revoir to Amber Austin as she was moving away from the area. Amber was a long serving trustee and she was very hands on, getting stuck into the running of the hall. But on a positive note, we gained 2 new trustees, so a warm welcome to Rachel Szaruta and Kate Narraway.

In November the hall hosted a sold-out fundraising event for Somerset Aid For Ukraine. During the evening we were served delicious authentic homecooked Ukrainian specialities and entertained with traditional Ukrainian music, including a performance by Tonya Matviyenko. Tonya is a celebrated Ukrainian singer with numerous honours and awards bestowed on her in her native Ukraine. She also sang with some local Ukrainian children that had recently come to Somerset from Ukraine much to their delight. The evening was declared a rousing success and much needed funds were raised for the Ukrainian appeal.

Following the hugely successful Ukrainian Evening, we decided in December to have an appeal collection point in the village hall. Over two days in December the people of the parish donated an amazing amount of badly needed items, filling two vans when they were collected. Somerset Aid For Ukraine were extremely pleased with the donations, so we decided to do it again in January, wondering if we were expecting too much. But no, this time you all really went the extra mile and we had even more donations including 3 generators! All these donations have now travelled to Ukraine and are being distributed where they are really needed.

Otterhampton Parishioners you did us proud!

Back closer to home we have started a ‘Warm Hub’ in the village hall on Wednesday afternoons, tea, coffee, biscuits, games, newspapers and company in the warmth of the Lounge.

Thanks to Somerset Community Council for funding and Asda, Bridgwater for supplying refreshments.

So, what’s coming up?

Well in March we have the welcome return of the Stoggymen, they are always very popular when they perform here. Ticket price includes a Ploughman Supper.

To see further events at OVH keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages and don’t forget you can book the hall for your private parties/events, full details on the website.